Fabricating high-strength Al matrix composites without sacrificing their electrical conductivity is a critical issue in the design of Al-based conductors. Here, we demonstrate for the first time, an example of improving the interfacial load transfer and strength of few-layer graphene (FLG)/Al composites by an appropriate interfacial reaction. Monocrystalline Al4C3 nanorods that tightly conjoined the FLG platelets with the Al matrix were produced by manipulating the sintering temperature. As revealed by transmission electron microscopy and by a shear lag model that provides a quantitative estimate of the strengthening, the Al4C3 nanorods ensured an efficient load transfer at the FLG-Al interface, thereby giving rise to a considerable enhancement of strength in the composite. Moreover, the electrical conductivity is almost as high as that of pure Al, which could be a significant step toward the preparation of high-performance Al-based conductors.
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